Solar batteries are a type of rechargeable batteries. But all rechargeable batteries cannot be used as solar batteries. The function of solar batteries and rechargeable batteries are the same. The Solar batteries are integrated with the solar cell that power the battery and stores the energy generated from the solar panel. Solar batteries are also known as rechargeable batteries.
You can use the regular rechargeable batteries in solar lights. However, it would help if you did not connect standard batteries to the solar panel without knowing the core functions of these batteries.
Can you use regular rechargeable batteries in solar lights?
No, all rechargeable batteries are compatible with recharging from the solar panel system. Ensure that you are not connecting the faulty batteries to store the energy.
Regular rechargeable batteries can be used to test whether the solar lights are working or not.
Any electronic device needs a steady flow of energy to light up. The energy source can be solar, chemical energy, or power grid. The function of the solar light works the same no matter what energy source you use to power them.
When it comes to storing the energy generated from the solar panel, you need an efficient way to store the energy in the batteries.
Some rechargeable batteries are designed to generate power from chemical reactions.
These are alkaline batteries whose energy source is the chemical placed in the battery which reacts with the metal in the battery and move the electrons from positive to negative charge. The flow of the electron is used as electricity.
Connecting your solar light to the rechargeable batteries would give you the advantage to power the solar light in the night time when the sun is not available.
During the day, the rechargeable battery uses the power generated from the solar panel and stores the excess energy in the battery.
As the sun sets, the battery gets activated, and the solar lights will be powered with the stored energy. Depending on the stored energy, it will keep the solar light power up.
Solar batteries generally last longer if it is appropriately maintained. They are easily accessible in the local stores.
You can find a wide range of rechargeable batteries in the stores. Choose the batteries which are compatible with your electronics. Also, check for the energy efficiency rating mention on the batteries.
Are solar batteries different?
Solar batteries are different from regular batteries. They are specially manufactured to store the energy generated from the solar panel system. There are different types of batteries available, so you should check the details while choosing the batteries. Solar-powered batteries are deep cycle batteries. The deep cycle batteries last longer and deplete slowly.
Generally, three common types of deep cycle batteries are available, namely, lithium-ion, lead-acid, and saltwater batters. A solar system requires more flexible batteries to move them around.
The weight of the solar batteries needs to be light. Therefore, in most cases, lithium-ion batteries are used because of their lighter weight.
Also, these batteries have a better light span compared to other batteries in this category. Lithium-ion batteries are known for increasing efficiency.
Lithium-ion batteries generate electricity using the chemical reaction between the metal. Lithium is used in the battery because it is a lightweight metal.
Additionally, the electrical current flows smoothly between the lithium metal, making them ideal batteries for home use.
Lithium-ion batteries are found in a wide range of options. Before you choose the batteries, ensure that these batteries are compatible with the solar system.
Take the advice of the solar power specialist to decide which battery would be better for your setup.
Can I use alkaline batteries instead of rechargeable?
No. It would help if you did not use alkaline batteries instead of rechargeable. The alkaline batteries are not rechargeable. These batteries are run on the chemicals reaction. Therefore, in most cases, these batteries will never be reached to the zero power state. It will not drain entirely during the night.
What battery is best for solar lights?
The best batteries for solar lights will be, deep cycle rechargeable batteries. During the day, the batteries will be charged using the solar energy when connected to the solar panel. As the sunset, the batteries will power the solar lights.
Some brands offer great rechargeable batteries that power the solar lights with high efficiency.
List of brands available in the market.
1) NiMH Rechargeable AA Battery
2) EBL AA Rechargeable Batteries
3) Tenergy AA Rechargeable Battery
4) RELIGHTABLE AA NiCd Rechargeable Batteries
5) GEILIENERGY Solar Light AA Ni-CD 1.2V Rechargeable Batteries
All above-listed batteries come in the range between the 600 to 1500 mAh capacity. They will power your entire garden without needing a backup connection.
The batteries are great in storing energy with high efficiency.
Also, the depletion rate of these batteries is prolonged to store energy for a very long period.
Recharging the battery using the solar panel is very easy. The battery gets charged during the day, and you use them at night.
Can I use regular AA batteries in solar lights?
The regular batteries are not designed to use in solar units. It is not advisable to use standard AA batteries in solar lights. However, in an emergency, you can use the regular batteries on your solar lights.
But do not think of powering the solar lights for a long duration. The depletion rate of these batteries is very high.
Within a few days, the batteries will be fully drained when used overnight. It would be expensive to replace these batteries frequently.
The decision of replacing the solar batteries with standard rechargeable batteries would not be efficient.
It would help if you thought of using the batteries for the long term and not the short term solution. When it comes to efficiency, the batteries should be chosen based on compatibility.
If the batteries are not compatible with the electronic system that you need to power, there are possibilities that the batteries will drain quickly.
If you charge the batteries within few hours and not use them until you recharge them again, it is not an efficient way to use batteries.
Eng. Matthew Joseph Nandirio is the Founder of walkingsolar.
After graduating from the University of Houston in 2002, matt started working as an electrical and electronic engineer for several multi-national solar energy companies.
He has a wide range of experiences including solar system requirement analysis, planning, maintaining, debugging and even solar device development through research.
He now shares his 20 years of expertise through his articles on the walkingsolar website.
Further, he is also the author of two books on Solar Technology, “Solar Power for Villages” and “DIY Solar System for Dummies”.